Kremlin Ombudsman Urges Prosecution Over Hermitage Death


A senior Russian investigator should be prosecuted for his role in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, the Hermitage Capital Management Ltd. lawyer who died in November 2009 after almost a year in pre-trial detention, a presidential human rights ombudsman said.

The comments from Valery Borshchev, a member of the human rights council set up by President Dmitry Medvedev, came a day after the Investigative Committee said Oleg Silchenko hadn’t committed any legal violations in prosecuting Magnitsky, who was 37 when he died of heart failure. Borshchev’s committee is conducting its own probe.

Silchenko refused Magnitsky’s request for an ultra-sound scan and operation, Borshchev said today by telephone. “This refusal played a central role in Magnitsky’s death, so this is enough to bring charges against Silchenko,” he said.

Medvedev has made fighting corruption and improving the rule of law a key objective as he seeks to attract foreign investors. London-based Hermitage founder William Browder accuses the Russian authorities of a whitewash over Magnitsky’s death.

A doctor at Magnitsky’s prison confirmed that she had tried repeatedly to get the lawyer transferred to hospital and met with obstruction from Silchenko, said Borshchev. The refusal to allow him medical treatment contravenes safeguards for prisoners’ conditions under the Russian penal code, he said.
Charges Fabricated

The presidential inquiry, which will release its report within the next couple of months, concluded that the tax evasion charges against Magnitsky, who suffered from gallstone disease, were fabricated, said Borshchev.

Irina Dudukina, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry’s investigative arm, where Silchenko worked, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Medvedev told a press conference outside Moscow on May 18 that all guilty parties in the cases surrounding Magnitsky’s “tragic” death, both Russian and foreign, should be punished. “I want an objective and wide-ranging inquiry to be completed quickly,” he said.

Russia put Browder on its international wanted list in 2009, seeking to question him on suspicion of conspiring with Magnitsky to evade 500 million rubles ($18 million) of taxes.

Browder, 47, was the biggest foreign investor in Russia when authorities revoked his visa in 2005, citing national security concerns. He has been campaigning for the prosecution of 60 Russian officials he blames for the death of Magnitsky. Some EU and U.S. lawmakers are seeking to impose visa bans and asset freezes on those officials.
Fraudulent Claim

Hermitage says Interior Ministry officials seized documents from its Moscow offices in June 2007 that enabled them to re- register ownership of its three Russian funds and fraudulently claim $230 million in tax rebates in December 2007.

Alexander Bastrykin, who heads the federal Investigative Committee, said in a September 2010 interview with Rossiiskaya Gazeta, the government’s official newspaper, that there was “no reason” to believe Magnitsky’s death was connected to those prosecuting the criminal case against him. займ на карту без отказов круглосуточно payday loan https://zp-pdl.com/apply-for-payday-loan-online.php https://zp-pdl.com/get-a-next-business-day-payday-loan.php займ на карту без отказов круглосуточно

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